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Veg trials seek answers to some big concerns

News - 12.05.22

From seed treatments to herbicides to fungicides, Agrii’s vegetable trials are focussed on finding solutions to the problems most concerning growers, writes David Townley, Agrii veg agronomist

There is no let-up in the crop protection pressures facing growers, but there are reasons to remain optimistic.

In 2021 we investigated the potential of Agrii-Start Release, a soil-applied phosphorus activator, to increase yields of various veg crops. It delivered positive yield increases. To validate these observations, we will be establishing replicated small plot trials in commercial crops of bulb onions, carrots and cabbages during the 2022 season.

Separate trials are also planned to consider alternative and new active substances for the control of downy mildew in allium crops. The anticipated loss of mancozeb fungicide, which has been a back-bone multi-site fungicide of downy mildew fungicide programmes for many years, will present a huge problem for growers of onions (both salad and bulb onions). This year’s trials include several new active substances, which will, hopefully, enter the market soon.

Vegetable Trials

We will continue investigating bio-fungicides for the control of brassica diseases. This will further our understanding of what diseases they control, and how to support their efficacy. In addition, we will continue to assess the potential of two new conventional fungicides on track to come market within the next few years with the view of identifying where they will sit best in a strategy alongside other crop protection products.

The efficient use of applied fertiliser has long been an area of focus for our trials. The surge in nitrogen fertiliser prices has given this research further impetus and this year we will investigate new bio-stimulants and substances claimed to improve the uptake or availability of nutrients by crops.

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